Tyler Granger works for the National Wildlife Federation in Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin
Being in Iowa, it won’t take long to hear U.S. Senator Joni Ernst talk about the importance of trade.
While Ernst has made good points about the United States Mexico Canada Agreement and ongoing talks with China, the junior senator’s actions on another trade-related issue are a different story. She has dismissed and disregarded the Paris Climate Agreement and all its trade potential.
The Paris Climate Agreement is entering its second phase and is moving forward without leadership from the U.S. Under President Donald Trump’s administration, the U.S. has said it will withdraw from the agreement, ignoring the trade implications. The next round of that treaty will address reducing carbon, but U.S. negotiators will have a less significant role.
The Paris Climate Agreement has laid the foundation for dealing with the international climate crises. To keep countries accountable, we need to have mechanisms that deal with carbon reduction through trade practices.
Ernst has failed to protect the environment in many respects, from her disastrous recent vote on a bad Environmental Protection Agency rule* to her tendency to turn the Green New Deal into a punchline.
If you care about the environment or trade, let your voice be heard and hold Ernst accountable. Call the senator’s offices, write her emails or letters, show up to her town halls, and demand that she act on climate change. We can address carbon reduction through trade policies, but not with Iowa’s senators sitting on the sidelines.
*Editor’s note: Ernst and Iowa’s senior Senator Chuck Grassley were among 53 senators who voted in October against a resolution seeking to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. That rule is the Trump administration’s substitute for President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The ACE rule “repealed the statewide emissions caps of the Clean Power Plan and replaced it with a less stringent regulation focused on upgrades at individual power plants.” Upholding that policy will increase carbon pollution from fossil fuels.
Top image: Senator Joni Ernst at a town hall meeting on October 3, 2019. Tyler Granger took the photograph and gave permission to publish.